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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    I need a TIG welder for chassis fab and exhaust / plumbing. Do I need to spend 2k?


    I am planning on doing an engine swap and need a TIG welder. Well, I am weighing the pros and cons of having one, I guess I should say

    So I see that this is probably an ideal welder for me:

    I've already done a great deal of research. perhaps years of it. I've seen all the insides of the chinese welders and read about the terrible things that happen. So I just want to double check on the forums one last time- is this really my best option? And if so, I wouldn't mind a little help picking out some accessories for this welder, and selecting the proper rods for what I want to do. I am sure I will want extra "cups" and more tungsten. I know I need green and red tungstens, but the rest escapes me. I have used welders before but always somebody elses welder, and they had all the spare cups and things laying around for me to select from and try.

    here is a breakdown of my engine swap:
    1. make engine mounts. I know I want some kind of steel but I have no idea what 'type' of steel. Nor what is acceptable (I am not a metallurgist)
    2. transmission mount: probably from the same material as the engine mounts.

    For #1 and #2, I would like some kind of recommendation for what to ask for from a supplier. I.e. "I need some oval stainless 321 (or whatever) with 0.335" thickness ... " And then it would be cool if someone could tell me how I am going to bend and cut that steel, i.e. what other tools will I need (bandsaw, chop saw, sawzaw, how is it done these days?) Motor will make around 500-600 ft.lbs of torque so it needs to be beefy.

    3. exhaust tubes, I am welding cast iron manifolds to stainless plumbing (probably sources from a diesel truck in the junkyard). I've had success using a mig welder for this application, no issues there. But I would like to try a tig welder. So again, what sort of "rod" will I need, and how is that materials "dealt" with (sawzaw?)

    4. The downpipe and associated exhaust tubes: I've seen alot of "pretty" stainless welds. I have tried welding stainless in the past with a tig welder and had limited success. It definetely wasn't pretty. I believe it was due to my over-heating the metal. That said, Maybe I was using the wrong stainless. This is where my lack of metal understanding comes into play. I am using a turbocharger so the exhaust temps will get fairly high (perhaps 1200-1300*F where it comes into contact with the first length of tube, or hotter) so the quality is important. I just don't know enough about it yet.

    5. aluminum intercooler plumbing- I have this covered. I can weld aluminum very well so I am not worried about this one bit. However, again, I never had to buy rods for aluminum. I would love an explanation for what sort of aluminum rod to buy.

    6. chassis work. I need to weld some supports and various items, like nuts, to the chassis for holding structures. I need to cut and box in the crossmember for clearing an oil pan. Its steel again, and once more I am not sure what kind of rod to use, I guess thats the main issue. I want to make the core support removable so I can swap engines quickly. The exhaust will all be V-banded. I could go on but I think that covers the main points: rods vs metal "numbers" (i.e. 321 stainless vs mild steel and so forth) are my main concerns. thanks for reading all that!

    And if anybody can think of a cheaper welder that will do all of that, I am all corn. Ears
    Last edited by Kingtal0n; 01-11-2017 at 12:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Andover, Ohio
    Good luck to you.
    Lincoln A/C 225
    Everlast PA 200

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    The machine you have listed is I believe TIG only.... For same money you can probably get a machine that will do TIG, MIG (FCAW\GMAW) and stick... For home shop it seems kind of expensive and impractical to put everything into one machine with only one process....

    Recently had opportunity to test a ESAB (I know Not Miller/Hobart) machine that could do all weld types and it was in the ball park of $1800.....


    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Aumsville, Oregon
    I have ran one, but a Lincoln Square wave TIG 200 would probably be a better choice. For aluminum AC the Lincoln will give you adjustable balance and frequency.
    MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
    Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.

    PM 180C

    HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    thanks guys, and good thinking on the tig mig capability. I have to do more research...

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